Expensive People Author:Joyce Carol Oates I was a child murderer. — I don't mean a child murderer.... I mean a murderer who happens to be a child or a child who happens to be a murderer. You can take your choice. — You would be surprised to learn how many years, how many months,and how many awful minutes it has taken me just to type that first line which you read in less than a second: ... more »I was a child murderer.
You think its easy? Look at my hands tremble.
But I couldn't begin the story by stating: One morning in January a yellow Cadillac pulled up to the curb.
Or: Elwood Everett met and wed Natashya Romanov when he was thirty-two and she was nineteen.
And, I couldn't begin with this pathetic flourish: The closet door opened suddenly and there he stood, naked. He stared at me and I stared at him.
Because the story I have to tell is my life...and if you have to begin your life with a sentence, make it a brave summing up and not anything coy: I was a child murderer.« less